Behind the Scenes 2016: Ordinary to extraordinary with pullbacks and processing

with Elena Blair, Jamie Rubeis, Krista Campbell, Sally Molhoek, and Lissa Chandler | Available for Immediate Download


Have you ever wondered how some photographers create their magical images? Surely it must be an amazing location with gorgeous light and magical processing all wrapped up in one image, right? In this Breakout you’ll go behind the scenes with five photographers to see how they make extraordinary photographs with ordinary locations and light! In over ten hours of video, you’ll see how Elena Blair, Jamie Rubeis, Krista Campbell, Sally Molhoek, and Lissa Chandler create images from start to finish. You’ll see over seventy images– each image is accompanied by a video that includes the pullback, the straight out of camera image, and a processing video. As an added bonus, some of the videos include shooting footage and an opportunity to listen in as the presenters discuss their thoughts on composition, perspective and more– you’ll even see additional photographs and outtakes in some of the series!


• How to make an ordinary location extraordinary through composition, perspective and processing
• How five photographers create images in their signature style
• How to transform any location– from urban to rural– into a beautiful backdrop for your subjects
• Processing tips and tricks that you can use in your own work (Lightroom, ACR and Photoshop)
• How to minimize a cluttered location through composition and perspective



With a Canon 5d mark II and a few choice lenses in hand, Seattle photographer and NICU/Labor and Delivery nurse Elena Blair began working with film about ten years ago and then dipped her toes in the digital pool in 2010. Often described as fine art documentary, her photography is natural, organic, and emotive which is an extension of her family and their lifestyle. Elena, her husband, and three children are an active family that enjoys biking, hiking, and skiing. Elena is the instructor of the CMU workshop Going Beyond the Pose.

Jamie Rubeis has always had a love for the outdoors. Growing up, she traveled frequently throughout the states visiting the most amazing National Parks and mountainous back country states such as Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming. Today, her love of the outdoors translates into her portrait photography work. Jamie finds the beauty in every location she visits and her style is often translated as classic and sophisticated. Jamie is the instructor for CMU’s workshop Lightroom Fundamentals. When she is not busy shooting, editing, or teaching classes, Jamie often finds herself enjoying a nice glass of wine, a cozy blanket, and a good movie.

Krista Campbell is natural light portrait, senior, and wedding photographer in Northwest Arkansas. A lover of golden fields, buttery backlight, and authentic emotion, she strives to transform the mundane into the magical by showcasing amazing light and interaction in her photography. She is a devoted wife and mother of a spirited 8-year-old daughter, who also serves as her muse. The past 19 years of teaching have taught her how to connect with clients and how to embrace the unpredictability of photographing others in a calm and patient way. Krista loves spicy Mexican food, reality TV, the ocean, and connecting with nature.

Sally Molhoek is a portrait and wedding photographer based in Dallas-Fort Worth, where she lives with her husband of 16 years, and five kids ages 4-14, who have been her constant inspiration (and occasional exasperation). Drawing and painting since she was old enough to hold a crayon, she takes great joy in combining Art, and her love of human expression and connection, into her imagery. Sally is the instructor for CMUs workshop Creating Magical Moments.

Lissa Chandler is a creative (and fun!) wedding and senior portrait photographer in Northwest Arkansas who loves happy photographs, vintage markets, crazy long sunsets, and fresh flowers. She edits exclusively in Lightroom 5 and loves Canon L lenses with her whole heart.


  • Brittney says:

    I had so much fun with this Breakout. The videos and ebook are very well put together. I live in area that does not seem to have very many great photography spots and was able to apply what I learned quickly and I find that I am noticing places that would work for shoots that I was overlooking before.

  • Katy Vetter says:

    This breakout is so diverse! With five different photographers with different styles all showing how they do their own thing, you will get something different out of each one! I had so many “aha!” moments with editing in this! I consider myself pretty good with my Photoshop elements. But, there are so many things I have been doing the hard way, or had NO CLUE how to do until I watched these videos! I have always used Photoshop elements because I didn’t quite know how things worked in my full Photoshop, but, after watching this I switched to full Photoshop and I won’t be going back! There are so many new tools and tricks they teach and show! I loved it! You get SO much out of this breakout it’s crazy! From finding and using light when shooting, to deciding which lenses might be best for what you are looking for, to using a “not so great” location to it’s full potential, to how to take an image to the next level in post processing with Photoshop as well as Lightroom. So worth the price and the time to watch!

  • LOUIEB says:

    After considering different workshops, then going through all the previous breakouts in the CM store, at last moment, I read about this one! Just in time! I am in awe of all of the information and room for growth within this breakout! Not only are there gorgeous before and after images, the photographers share great locations, making the most out of places I’d never imagine taking photos. They also take the time to share their post processing. This breakout holds so much hope for me, I often take photos I love but don’t know where to go with them, or I butcher lovely images in post processing due to my lack of editing skills! I haven’t gotten through all of the videos yet, but I’m going to take my time and soak up as much as I can! Thanks ladies for a great opportunity!

  • Beth J says:

    I am enjoying this breakout. I love looking at the before and after shots and learning more through the videos. This is exactly the kind of information I’ve been looking for.

  • Nicole says:

    This is one of the best breakouts I’ve done and I’m not even finished yet lol. i have learned so much from the videos so far. Ive already starting looking a scenes in a totally different way. thank you all for making the time to put together all the videos.

  • I wasn’t really sure what to expect or how relevant it would be to my work. I don’t shoot a lot of people, mostly landscapes and nature. I was intrigued about the chance to see so many different perspectives though, so I went ahead and got it. And I’m so glad I did! My head is spinning but in such a good way! The details and information would be well worth the cost if only one or two of the artists were featured – given that you get a real, honest, behind the scenes look at exactly how several artists with several different styles work – its just incredible. I am seriously inspired to clean up my workflow, but also so happy to see there is no one “right” way. I cannot WAIT until the next time I shoot some portraits. I also know I will be taking this information and applying it to my landscape/nature/still life work. All I can say is to the amazing photographers – thank you for letting us into your world.

  • Melinda Eubel says:

    I am loving this breakout and am so please with what I have learned so far. It is jammed packed with information and videos that walk through the entire photo shoot and editing process for the photos that the photographers presented to us. Seeing behind the scenes with the very talented photographers( 5 in all) was a confidence boost and a training tool to show that you can end up with a beautiful image, even if the surroundings aren’t so beautiful. We know what lens was used, where they stood, any light issues, etc. It deals with real life stuff as it relates to locations. In addition, my pdf contains interviews with all the photographers about their style, their inspiration at the less than perfect locations, and much more. The tools used in these edits were LR, ACR, PS so there is something for everyone. I use LR and PSE and many of the techniques will be available to use in PSE. These ladies took a lot of time to share with us their images from start to finish. This was one photo purchase I will not regret. And, I have the videos to review again and again to go back and take notes, practice on my photos, etc.

  • Mary Vance says:

    Wow! I so often scratch my head and ask, “How did they do THAT?” Now I know! :-) These photographers opened themselves up by showing their SOOC work – something that would terrify me. If nothing else, they are setting such a great example of encouraging community. Seriously, this was just awesome. (and let’s not even mention that the bang-for-your-buck is the best value ever!)

  • This breakout is well thought out and really shares a lot of information from location settings to each photographers editing process. I love the videos as I think it is great to actually see and hear what the photographers are thinking through the location selection process. These videos cover the post processing as well giving this breakout a start to finish look into a photography session. The photographers use Lightroom, ACR, and Photoshop, so there is something for everyone! This is well worth the price. Well done!

  • This breakout session is absolutely amazing!!! It is FULL of valuable information that is applicable to every skill level. I found the “pullback” images to be so inspiring! (I love behind the scene peeks.)

    And the editing videos?!?! C’mon!!! You get to watch five incredibly photographers edit. This breakout is an amazing value!!! Well worth the monetary investment.

  • Gina Yeo says:

    I always learn so much from watching other photographers! This breakout offers not just one but five amazingly talented artists with varying approaches and styles! Love that! Being able to see how images are created from beginning to end is so valuable and inspiring! This is an amazing breakout and worth every penny!

  • Marissa says:

    I loved this breakout! I enjoyed reading the PDF and interviews with each photographer. It was fascinating to hear their answers and how they approach their work. The videos were great as well. By watching their before and after videos I feel like I’ll be better able to see the potential in locations as I go through my own town and surrounding areas. The processing tips were interesting – there are so many ways to accomplish things and I came away feeling like I had a list of new techniques that I want to try and incorporate into my own work. The sheer amount of information available here is crazy. It’s taken me a long time to work my way through the videos and feel like I’ve had a private tutorial in each one. Thank you to all the presenters for their hard work and for sharing their hearts and processes with us! <3

  • Jan Tyler says:

    I have been waiting for a Breakout like this!!! I love watching artists use the tools that I am familiar with…in ways that are completely new to me. It is so eye-opening to see how different artists approach different subjects, and to watch the editing choices they make. These are five of my favorite artists, and to have all of their work bundled together is like a dream. Thank you for putting all of this information together in one dream-filled package! <3

  • Tiffany says:

    This breakout is an INCREDIBLE value! I feel like, regardless of level, it’s so much fun to get in other photographer’s heads and get a peek at their thought process, both in terms of how they use locations and how they edit their images. The awesome thing about this breakout is that you get to learn from FIVE amazing, talented, and different photographers. This one is definitely worth the price!

  • C-L says:

    This breakout is probably best suited for someone who is newer to photoshop, LR and photography. For the price it wasn’t very helpful. I have found these editing tips online for free. :(

  • The ‘Ordinary to Extraordinary’ Breakout with Elena, Sally, Jamie, Krista and Lissa has been an absolute blessing! Not only have I gained the knowledge to create images I have only ever dreamed of making. But more importantly, for me, it has given me the confidence and inspiration to pick up my camera once again, and has well and truly reignited my passion for photography. This Breakout is utterly thorough, delightfully challenging and wonderfully supported. I am absolutely brimming with ideas and can’t wait to apply all that I have learnt to my art. Thank you Sally, Krista, Elena, Lissa and Jamie for your invaluable knowledge and guidance!

  • johnna brown says:

    This breakout is absolutly what I have been hoping for! I have been following one of the presenters (Sally) for quite sometime and tried to create a similar look to her, but have been failing miserably. DOing the mentoring is something on my bucket list, but doesn’t fit in my budget lol. Through watching all of the photographers edit, I feel like I am growing so much as a photographer, so many light bulbs have gone on in my mind:) Thank you so much for putting this all together and helping me continue on in my photography journey!

  • Loved this Breakout!! Think of all those times you drooled over another photographer’s images and you thought “I could never get that image” or “I’ll never know how they created that look”. Well wait no more! These amazing photographers show you just how easy it is to make almost any location look creative and then how to finish off the image with easy editing tricks. I’ve been in the photography business for over 5 years now and this course was such a great inspiration for my editing.

  • Jackie Voeller says:

    All I can say is -HONESTLY-This.Is.What.I.Have.Been.Waiting.For! I know how to use my camera pretty well, but I am lacking in the ability to see a good place to capture a “wow” image and polishing it off with the proper editing. Let’s face it-we all don’t live in rolling hills with perfect sunsets 24/7. :) This breakout has been literally HUGE for me. These ladies take you by the hand and walk you step by step-showing you their surroundings, where they stood, help with lens selection, and editing from start to finish. There is even help with workflow and how to batch edit and streamline your images with continuity. (That is another thing…I would edit, but all of my edits would be slightly different. I really wanted to get streamlined edits before I start taking on clients because I feel it is more “professional”.) Like I said…this is what I have been telling my husband all the time what I need help with…and IT IS IN THIS BREAKOUT!!! Seriously, thank you so much to all the CMPros who invested their time and efforts into this project.

  • Amy Guidice says:

    WOWSA! Was an incredible deal – all of this knowledge from five awesome photographers! I would highly recommend this breakout!

  • Beth Greene says:

    I absolutely had to take the time to write a review for this breakout. I have only watched a few of the videos and I feel like I have learned so much already. It’s the best $50 I have spent in a long, long time. Thank you so much for this offer!

  • Magan Sheffield says:

    I LOVED this Breakout! Seeing the behind the scenes and watching the videos is incredibly helpful if you’re struggling with finding locations and thinking outside the box. They shoot extraordinary images in ordinary locations. This breakout helped to remind me to look at locations from different angles. Watching them process the images was very helpful and I learned some new tricks. I think there is a lot to learn here and anyone who buys it will not regret the purchase.

  • This is an amazing breakout and its such a deal. Being able to see the behind the scenes on these 5 super talented photographers is such a treat. These amazing ladies all have such different but wonderful styles. I have always wondered where they get their ideas and creativity from and this breakout is like being able to see inside their minds and how they use the space they have to create magic. I struggle with trying to be able to see the finished product when I look at a location and the before and afters are so so helpful!! This is a breakout that really spoke to me as I struggle with shooting in my boring yard and coming up with new and exciting ways to find inspiration. I highly recommend it!

  • This breakout is an unbelievable deal and I would highly recommend it!! Seeing behind the scenes with 5 amazing photographers and hearing their thought processes is so valuable. As photographers, we are always looking for great locations to shoot at and these videos show you how they each create fantastic images from very ordinary locations. I love seeing not only how they shoot the images but how they process the images as well. There is something to learn from each photographer – no matter what level photographer you are. Don’t miss this breakout!!

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